The church in Brooklyn, N.Y., made famous by the long pastorship of Henry
Ward Beecher, which lasted from 1847 until his death, forty years later. The
original building was burned in 1849, when the present plain brick church
was erected, seating 2800 people, and containing one of the largest organs
in America. 

Plymouth Church Of The Pilgrims
Services At I I AM, Nursery & Church
School 11 AM
75 Hicks 624-4743

Plymouth Church Of The Pligrims Music Dept
75 Hicks

                              HENRY WARD BEECHER

(1813-87). A Protestant pulpit orator. He was the eighth child and third son
of Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote, a granddaughter of Gen. Andrew Ward, and
was born in Litchfield, Conn., June 24, 1813. He received his early
education at home, and at a private school in Bethlehem, and was known as a
sensitive, diffident child, his talents first showing themselves when he was
about 11 years of age, in a debate with an older schoolmate over Paine's Age
of Reason, younger Beecher winning the victory. With little aptitude for
study, he had a strong desire to go to sea---a plan abandoned on his
conversion, during a revival of religion, and in 1826 he entered the Boston
Latin School. Completing his preparatory course at the Mount Pleasant
School, in Amherst, he entered Amherst College, graduating in 1834, having
taken only fair rank in mathematics and the classics, but having displayed
marked ability as a writer and debater. On graduation he studied theology
under his father in Lane Seminary ; was in 1837-39 and 1839-47 pastor of
Presbyterian churches in Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis, Ind., and in 1847
was called to take charge of Plymouth Church, a new Congregational
organization in Brooklyn, N.Y. which soon became noted on both continents
for its bold advocacy of unpopular reforms, such as abolition and
temperance, and for the generosity and intelligence of its members. His
congregation became one of the largest in America, the seating capacity of
the church being nearly 3000. But it was not to this audience alone that he
preached ; for, as he believed that all things concerning the public welfare
are fit subjects for a minister, his opinions on all questions were eagerly
read by the public at large. He disregarded the conventional methods of
preparing sermons, did not always rely on notes, even ; and the physical
strength that enabled him to deliver several discourses in a day was
scarcely less wonderful than the eloquence, dramatic power, pathos, and wit
that characterized them. Fierce in his denunciations of injustice, he was,
nevertheless, tender-hearted, charitable and catholic. Though a steadfast
believer in the divinity of Christ, his theology was not in general accord
with that of the Congregational denomination. In 1878 he formally renounced
his belief in the eternity of future punishment. He was, perhaps, the most
popular lecturer in the country, and was an unrivaled after-dinner speaker.
Among his orations are that delivered at the celebration of the centennial
anniversary of the birthday of Burns (1859) and that (by request of the
Government) at Fort Sumter, April, 1865, on the anniversary of its fall.
   He allied himself with the Republican Party as soon as it was formed,
lent his pen and his pulpit to further its aims, and during the canvass of
1856 traveled far and wide to speak at mass-meetings. In 1863 he visited
Europe for his health, and when in Great Britain addressed vast audiences on
the purposes and issues of the Civil War, speaking in one instance for three
hours consecutively, and changing materially the state of public opinion. In
1884 he supported heartily the Democratic candidate for President. In 1874
suit was brought against him  for adultery by his former intimate friend,
Theodore Tilton. The trial lasted six months, resulting after fifty-two
ballots, in a disagreement of the jury, nine of the twelve voting in Mr.
Beecher's favor.
   Mr. Beecher was a strong advocate of free trade and of woman suffrage.
His last public speech was in favor of high license, at Chickering Hall, New
York, February 25, 1887. He died in Brooklyn on March 8th following, and was
buried in Greenwood Cemetery. His summer home for many years previous had
been at Peekskill, on the Hudson, where he indulged his taste for farming
and horticulture. He was fond of art, gems, flowers, and animals. He was
chaplain of the Thirteenth Regiment, National Guard, 1878-87.
   In 1837 Mr. Beecher was connected with an anti-slavery paper in
Cincinnati, and while in Indianapolis contributed to an agricultural
publication the papers afterwards issued as Fruit, Flowers, and Farming. On
coming to Brooklyn he began, in the Independent, the series known as the
"Star Papers," so called from his signature ( * ), and published in two
volumes (New York, 1855-58) ;  was the editor of The Independent, 1861-63,
and the editor of the Christian Union, 1870-81. He contributed frequently to
the New York Ledger ; one series of essays, called "Thoughts As They Occur,"
being republished  as Eyes and Ears (Boston, 1864). His sermons, reported
regularly after 1859, form the numerous volumes entitled Plymouth Pulpit.
His first book, Lectures to Young Men (discourses delivered at
Indianapolis), was published in 1850. Among other works are Industry and
Idleness ;  Sermons on Freedom and War ;  The Plymouth Collection of Hymns
and Tunes :  Speeches on the American Rebellion (London, 1864) ;  Norwood, a
novel (1868) ;  Yale Lectures on Preaching, three series, delivered at New
Haven on the Lyman Beecher foundation. (1872-74,  3 vols.) ;  The Life of
Christ (Vol. I. 1871, Vols. II. and  III., 1891) ; The Strike and its
Lessons (1878) ;  A Circuit of the Continent (1884) ;  Doctrinal Beliefs and
Unbeliefs, Evolution and Religion (1885). In 1868 Lyman Abbot published two
volumes of selected Sermons, which were revised by their author, and these
will be found to represent his pulpit work at its best. The phonographically
reported Prayers from Plymouth Pulpit (1867), should also be read, as Mr.
Beecher was very felicitous in his public prayers. Among numerous
compilations from his sermons are Life Thoughts (2 vols., 1859) ; Morning
and Evening Devotional Exercises, edited by Lyman Abbot (1870) ; and
Comforting Thoughts (1884). For his biography consult Samuel Scoville (New
York, 1888), and T.J. Ellinwood, his private stenographer for thirty years,
to whom we owe the reports of Mr. Beecher's sermons and prayers and
speeches), Autobiographical Reminiscences of Henry Ward Beecher (New York,
1898). Mr. Beecher married, 1837, Eunice White Bullard, born West Sutton,
Mass., August 26, 1812, and author of From Dawn to Daylight (1859), etc.,
who died in Stamford, Conn., March 8, 1897.


The above mentioned article in its exact word by word entirety was taken
Source:  The New International Encyclopaedia
Copyright:  1902, 1903, 1904, 1905
Publisher:  Dodd, Mead and Company---New York
Volumes:  Total of 21 Volumes
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